Friday, 4 November 2011

Fantastic Mr Fox

I have perhaps blogged before on foxes, and their perception of my garden versus my perception of my garden. Whilst I am not a big gardener, I nonetheless view my garden as a tranquil haven in which to drink cool glasses of Rosé on warm summer evenings. A peaceful oasis of overgrown flowerbeds, weeds, and various spiky plants in pots. A place for children to run, to play, to shout and make merry.

The foxes? They view my garden primarily as a toilet, though they also enjoy using it as a place to scatter rubbish from neighbouring bins and gardens. Previous items that I have had to go round and pick up have included several shredded used disposable nappies, various plastic bottles, sachets of catfood, crisp packets, plastic bags, a bag of frozen oven chips, and, tantalisingly, a size 12 purple and white thong. Foxes have a particular smell, a scent that they seem able to leave on anything they have touched. A smell that lingers on one's hands, and one's moth trap, even after washing several time. It's not a nice smell. Fed up with it, and the likely hygiene issues, I bought one of those litter picker claw things that you see people doing community service using, so now, once a week or so, I trapse round the garden delicately pincering rubbish and women's underwear and placing it in a bin bag.

Lately my mind has been wandering to prevention. The air rifle which was so ineffectual against squirrels has gone back to Shaun, and in any event I'd imagine that Wanstead foxes are equally bomb-proof, so instead I've invested in two things. The first are some kind of chemical granules that you scatter round the garden, but I've been unable to use them as they just wash away in the rain. Genius. The second is one of those ultrasonic infra-red scarers. It looks like one of those PIRs that would activate a security light, but instead sits on a spike in the lawn. It looks mean, and so it should for the price. When a fox (or cat or squirrel, it isn't fussy, and neither am I) comes into the area of coverage, it begins to emit a sound that is to Foxes what Metallica is to humans, a sound so intensely painful that you have to leave immediately or die. I placed this near the end of of the terrace, its arc of deterrent covering most of the what used to be called a lawn before we moved in and my children ruined it. Hah!, I thought, this will fox them, they won't know what's hit them! Goodbye fox turds and rubbish, hello pristine grassy surface of happiness!

It turns out that I have underestimated the foxes of Wanstead. I have attempted to show this in the following diagram. Simply hover your mouse over it to discover what I discovered this afternoon. If you have any suggestions, I am all ears.


  1. Hahaha... On a more helpful note, try the Fox Project if they're still going, they will be happy to help advise you about your humane fox deterrent options.

    Note they found "ultrasonic devices broadly ineffective", hehe, but they recommend other things like Scoot... well, take a look! Hope it's helpful.

  3. Davina Wydegirth6 November 2011 at 01:41

    Foxes used to stay well away from our garden when we had the lion.

  4. They don't like red hot chilli pepper scattered around anywhere they like to go... i found the ultrasonic devices were waste of money too but chilli helped scattered along boundary holes and any places they used to scent or toilet. BUT watch out children don't touch it.

  5. Ultrasonic fox scaring devices are also intensely annoying to children and young people. Some of them are painfully loud too.

  6. And shit, it would appear